I told him that the data didn’t indicate that he needed one — yet.
“But I want one anyway — just to be safe,” he said.
However, more data is needed to show the need for boosters for everyone.
Ultimately, if everyone in the US and other wealthy countries who wanted a booster got one, far fewer doses would be available for the rest of the world.
Some people may dismiss these poorer countries’ needs. But Covid is showing us how, in both getting the virus and preventing it, we are all tightly interconnected.
In our globalized economy, countries have generally failed painfully in sealing their borders. No wall has stopped this airborne microbe. The more people are unvaccinated around the world, the more likely it is that highly resistant variants will emerge and appear here. Hence the belief that low vaccination rates in other countries don’t affect us is false.
Clearly, the pandemic is a moving target. Additional data may indicate that vaccine effectiveness drops significantly over time such that more symptoms occur, or new, more resistant variants may surface.
Yet for now, given the lack of clear benefit, and the potential harms, people without weakened immune systems should proceed with caution. In the end, such caution can help us all.